Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The book event horizon

Mostly books I won't re-read, as these
four shelves are books wot I wrote
Whenever we have tradespeople in the house, they tend to point to my wall of books and say something like 'Someone likes reading.' Leaving aside the sad reflection that having a few bookcases is now comment-worthy, it brings to mind another slightly depressing thought.

I probably have about 1,000 books on the shelves (I halved the collection when we moved 6 years ago, but it grows back), almost all of which I have read, but I keep them in case I want to re-read them.

Now, let's say I've got about 20 years of reading left in me. I read about 60 books a year, but of those 2/3 are new. So that's 20 re-reads a year. So, realistically, at maximum, around 400 of those books are going to be read again. Which seems a shame.

Note that I'm not advocating throwing most of them out. I don't know which I will re-read, and I want a choice. (A friend recently said he re-reads The Lord of the Rings every year. It seems such a waste if you do have a book event horizon looming.) However, what I have started doing is if, like the book I'm re-reading at the moment, I think 'I'll certainly never read that again,' I do dispose of it, if only to make a bit more room on the shelves.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, feel the impending book event horizon, although I hadn't named it as such - yet the book lover in me still wants to read the titles of the books on your shelves to see what looks interesting ;)